First Five Years of Practice

The new registrant year and those that follow can be among the most memorable for any midwife. There are challenges associated with entry into any new career, and midwifery is no exception. After four years in school, starting your own clinical practice can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. Not only are you trying to provide excellent clinical care, you may be facing life in a new community, you may have a family to care for, and you're establishing your professionalism--let alone figuring out where you can find the best coffee at the local hospital!

Although the number of midwives is growing, many hospitals either cap the number of midwives who can have privileges at the hospital or the total number of births midwives can attend—both of which severely limit a practice’s ability to bring on new midwives. For newer midwives trying to meet the huge demand for midwifery care by finding permanent work, barriers to obtaining hospital privileges can be especially frustrating. Even when new graduates secure new registrant positions, there is no guarantee that the practice will be able to keep the midwife on after her NR year if the local hospital has a cap on midwives or midwifery-attended births. This systems-level barrier can make it challenges for midwives in their early years to secure long-term positions in the community of their choice. If you need help with hospital integration issues, please contact the AOM policy department.

If you joined the AOM as a student, you may already be aware of the host of resources and supports you can access if you're struggling with hospital integration or just wanting help to develop your professional profile. If not, review the benefits of membership, dig through our website and be sure to follow us on social. We're here to support this special transition period from student midwife to midwife leader in your community.